Our favorite movies of 2013

BY The Movie Clubbers

There were many great movies this year, but the following were the ones which especially left a mark in our minds (and hearts!). See if any of your own favorites are on our list.

Babit de Luna’s Top Five Faves:

5. Now You See Me


Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Common, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Louis Letterier

This movie reminds us why we watch movies in the first place: to be entertained. Intriguing plot (I want a sequel already) and believable performances from the actors, especially Jesse Eisenberg.

Watch the trailer:

4. Frozen


Frozen,  featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontan. Directed byJennifer Lee and Chris Buck

Disney knows how to melt hearts. This movie is Broadway-worthy.

Watch the trailer:

3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone,  Sam Claflin,  Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci Donald Sutherland. Directed by Francis Lawrence

I haven’t read the book yet but this movie just made me want to read the last installment. Directing is top-notch and Jennifer Lawrence is indeed the best actress of her generation.

Read our movie review here.

Watch the trailer:

2. It Takes A Man and A Woman

It Takes a Man and a Woman, starring

It Takes a Man and a Woman, starring John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo. Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina

What a perfect way to end Laida and Miggy’s love story! The film, although a bit long, doesn’t bore and rather makes you smile all throughout the movie. Sarah Geronimo‘s a charmer and John Lloyd Cruz is dependable as always.

Watch the trailer:

1. Sana Dati

Sana Dati, starring

Sana Dati, starring Paulo Avelino, Lovi Poe, TJ Trinidad, and Benjamin Alves. Directed by Jerrold Tarog

This Cinemalaya Best Picture (Directors’ Showcase) proves that films can be simple yet heartwarming. Amazing performances from the actors especially Lovi Poe together with superb storytelling, cinematography and theme song (“Indak” by Up Dharma Down).

Watch the trailer:

Jo Ann Madarang’s Top Five Faves:

5. The Family

The Family, starring

The Family, starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, and John D’Leo.
Directed by Luc Besson

I watched and loved this movie because of two things: (1) Dianna Agron and (2) the fight scenes at the end.

Watch the trailer:

4. Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World starring

Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo and Anthony Hopkins.
Directed by Alan Taylor

I’m not a comic book fan but of all Joss Whedon-Avengers movies, I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed watching Thor. Aside from the amazing special effects and fight scenes, I liked the (almost dry) humor that the movie uses. Also, Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Enough said.

Watch the trailer:

3. We’re the Millers

We're The Millers, starring

We’re The Millers, starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, and Will Poulter.
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurbe

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis surprised me with their wit, humor, great comedic timing and chemistry in this movie. Emma Roberts and Will Poulter also delivered good performances, never letting Aniston and Sudeikis overpower them on screen.

Watch the trailer:

2. Frozen

Frozen, featuring the voices of

Frozen, featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontana.
Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck.

I almost automatically fall in love with movies with great songs (Pitch Perfect, Tangled and 500 Days of Summer) but the best thing I loved about Frozen is that it’s not just a love story–it’s great story about unconditional love between sisters.

1. On The Job

5 Jo Ann OTJ 2

On The Job, starring Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, and Piolo Pascual.
Directed by Erik Matti.

On The Job is the best movie this year because it focused on a reality in Philippine society, and it did so with honesty and straightforwardness. All the actors delivered great performances especially (and surprisingly) Gerald Anderson. The open-ended ending was also a nice touch.

Watch the trailer:

(Read more of Jo Ann’s TV and movie reviews here.)

Joanna Mendoza’s Top Five Faves:

5. The Wolverine

The Wolverine, starring

The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Hiroyuki Sanada, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Will Yun Lee, Haruhiko Yamanouchi, Brian Tee, Famke Janssen.
Directed by James Mangold.

How does Hugh Jackman not age? This film turned a bit unintentionally comical towards the end, but it’s still one of the more interesting Wolverine movies. Plus, The Days of Future Past sneak peak made finishing the film totally worth it!

Watch the trailer:

4. The World’s End

The World's End, starring

The World’s End, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan.
Directed by Edgar Wright.

This wasn’t as funny as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but it’s still funnier than many other comedies.  This time, Simon Pegg plays a cool guy, so different from his Star Trek and the previous Three Flavors of Cornetto Trilogy films mentioned. But Pegg is so talented and intelligent it doesn’t matter what he does, him being in a movie is enough reason to see it.

Watch the trailer:

3. The Croods

The Croods, featuring the voices of

The Croods, featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman.
Directed by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders.

The family values in this movie made me cry really hard. It might seem backwards given that this cartoon was set in the Stone Age, but the similarities of the core values of The Croods to the values of Filipino families made me even prouder to be Pinoy.

Watch the trailer:

2. Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness, starring

Star Trek Into Darkness, starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, , Leonard Nimoy, John Cho and Bruce Greenwood.
Directed by J.J. Abrams.

I’m not a Trekkie so 2009’s Star Trek reboot was the first in the franchise I’d seen, but even then, I was amazed at how instantly the cast made audiences love them. I still loved everyone this second time around, but for some reason, I was especially drawn to Scotty as played by Simon Pegg. I still can’t get enough of his reaction to that giant fish in that really intense save-Spock-or-not scene. Pegg’s comedy is gold.

Watch the trailer:

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring (Photo courtesy of Lionsgate)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone,  Sam Claflin,  Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci Donald Sutherland.
Directed by Francis Lawrence.(Photo courtesy of Lionsgate)

Where do I start? There are so many reasons (12 Best Things About Catching Fire) this film is one of the year’s must-sees. But I’ll narrow it down to three: 1) The new cast was brilliant, the original even greater than before; 2) The action sequences were thrilling and suspenseful; and 3) the humor (Haymitch! Finnick! Johanna! Effie!) was priceless.

Jen T. Tuazon’s Top Five  Faves

5. World War Z

World War Z, starring

World War Z, starring Brad Pitt,  Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, and Matthew Fox.
Directed by Marc Forster.

Surprisingly effective thriller (major screamfest!). A zombie movie you’ll take seriously.

Watch the trailer:

4. Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness, starring

Star Trek Into Darkness, starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, , Leonard Nimoy, John Cho and Bruce Greenwood.
Directed by J.J. Abrams.

Star Trek Into Darkness accomplished the impossible by surpassing its predecessor and giving an even more entertaining, thrilling, funny and moving sequel. Fantastic story, amazing cast, great special effects—may this movie franchise live long and prosper!

3. The Way Way Back

5 jen way way 3

The Way Way Back, starring  Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, and Maya Rudolph.
Directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

As a huge Steve Carell fan, it’s hard to like a movie where he plays such an a**hole. But The Way Way Back‘s touching story—how an awkward teenage boy (played to perfection by Liam James) finds a place where he finally belongs—makes it worth it.

Watch the trailer:

2. The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now, starring

The Spectacular Now, starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.
Directed by James Ponsoldt.

Shailene Woodley was simply amazing in this movie, so credible, and just so effective no doubt most girls would be able to relate to her character in one way or another. The Spectacular Now is a simple teenage love story that is sure to move and touch people of all ages.

Watch the trailer:

1. Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips, starring

Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi.
Directed by Paul Greengrass.

Tom Hanks in top Oscar form (stick until the last moments of the film, where Tom Hanks will break your heart without the slightest hint of effort). Captain Phillips is a gripping account of a real life hostage story, one that sadly still goes on until today.

Watch the trailer:

Gina Tumlos’ Top Five Faves:

5. Spring Breakers

Spring Breakers, starring

Spring Breakers, starring James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine.
Directed by Harmony Korine.

You can always tell if James Franco likes the material he is working with, and his Alien is such a force you can willingly forgive him for his last five movies.  I came in with no expectations for this film, but this is easily one of the trippiest, most ballsy, and most self-aware films that came out this year.

Watch the trailer:

4. Gravity

Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and Georg

Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron.

Even in space, it can get claustrophobic. Cuaron’s makes the most compelling use of movement, space, and sound with just his two actors and a radio transmission.

Watch the trailer:

3. Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adèle)

Blue is the Warmest Color, starring

Blue is the Warmest Color, starring Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux.
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.

I feel like ‘brave’ is already too overused a term when it comes to describing La vie d’Adèle, but watching Adele  Exarchopoulos’ and Lea Seydoux’ performances can put any other actress’ work this awards season to shame. There is, of course, the much talked about twenty-minute unsimulated sex scene, but more than that, there’s so much history, tension, and tenderness between the two leads that you can’t help but feel tormented by how it all ends.

Watch the trailer:

2. Frances Ha

Frances Ha, starring

Frances Ha, starring Greta Gerwig and Mickey Sumner.
Directed by Noah Baumbach.

Greta Gerwig takes the cake in this as she shows the ugly side of being the one left behind, while maintaining the cool, non self-effacing elegance of someone who got the short end of the stick. Noah Baumbach and Gerwig do not miss a beat in this perfectly balanced black-and-white film

Watch the trailer:

1. La Grande Belleza (The Great Beauty)

La Grande Belleza, starring

La Grande Belleza, starring Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, and Sabrina Ferilli.
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino.

There are movies, and then there is La Grande Bellezza. Reminiscent of Fellini’s La Doce Vita, Paolo Sorrentini’s film takes you to the most magnificent, hideous, and deepest parts of Rome where you, alongside with the protagonist, mourn for the lost and perhaps the last Great Beauty.

Watch the trailer:

Hope you enjoyed comparing your own ‘favorites” list with ours! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Movie Clubbers!


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